The M.S.P.H. Program

The M.S.P.H. and the M.P.H. are equivalent degrees; however, at Meharry, we emphasize the “S” in M.S.P.H. because the scientific knowledge and competencies our students acquire will allow them to thrive as health professionals upon graduation. We expect our graduates to make their public health decisions on “evidence based” data.

 

This program is a 45 credit-hour course of instruction, plus a field externship. The core courses consist of 24 required credit hours and 21 electives; students may choose a concentration and select their electives accordingly. There is a variety of courses from which to choose to fulfill the course requirements for the M.S.P.H. degree.

 

Graduateprograms.com ranked Meharry’s MSPH program as one of the Top 25 Public Health Programs for Value.

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) program at Meharry Medical College is to contribute to the public health workforce by increasing representation of individuals from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds through instruction, research, and service that is evidence-based and culturally sensitive. These MSPH-trained additions to the public health workforce will be providers who have the knowledge, skills, and training to understand, address and inform the public about problems and issues faced by underserved populations.

 

The MSPH program’s goals are to:

  • Provide a quality educational experience in public health that provides the student population with the tools to address public health needs of all communities with sensitivity to the needs of underserved populations.
  • Provide a public health experience that results in employment in public health or continued education after graduation.
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage in scholarly activity that includes research.

 

To view additional program goals, please see section 1.1.c of our self-study report.

 

The MSPH program is guided by the following values:

  • Excellence: consistently achieving outstanding levels of performance while uploading the highest standards of ethical behavior, intellectual honesty, and professional conduct.
  • Service: establishing and maintaining a nurturing community-based service-orientated culture and environment that exceeds expectations.
  • Accountability: accepting individual and collective responsibility for preserving and effectively managing the resources of the program.
  • Teamwork: encouraging, supporting and valuing the collaborative efforts of faculty, staff and students to advance the quality of education and research.
  • Innovation: promoting creativity and the development of ideas that stimulate improvements in our intellectual and operational endeavors.
  • Diversity: fostering ethic, intellectual, social, and cultural diversity.
  • Advocacy: advocating for local, state and national health and public policies and training directed at improving the status of health of all individuals with an understanding of health care needs of underserved populations.

Externship

Students are required to complete a 400-hour externship in a public health agency. The externship is an on-the-job experience of at least ten 40-hour work weeks, totaling 400 hours. It is generally held during the summer months between the first year and second year of academic study. The Externship Manual must be downloaded and maintained by the student throughout the externship. M.S.P.H. students have participated in externships at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Partner organizations have included Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee Hospital Association, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Veterans Affairs, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Harvard University, and the Minority International Research Training (MIRT) Program in Ethiopia Africa.

Culminating Experience

To complete the M.S.P.H. degree, the student has the option of writing a thesis or sitting for a comprehensive exam. Both the thesis and exam cover all the core courses of public health and test the knowledge the student has attained in the core areas of public health. They equally test the student’s ability to integrate the knowledge that he/she has attained during matriculation in the program. The M.S.P.H. Thesis Manual has been developed to assist students with preparation and writing of the thesis.

Course Descriptions

Students are required to take the following courses based on their intent to take the comprehensive examination or complete a thesis document:

Total Credit Hour (24 required + 21 electives) = 45 hrs

Core Courses – Required (24 HRS)

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics I
  • Health Administration
  • Health Behavior
  • Research Design
  • Externship/ Field Placement

Elective Courses – (21 HRS)

  • Health Planning
  • Strategic Management
  • Health Economics
  • Health Care Accounting
  • Health Care Seminar
  • Epidemiology II
  • Organizational & HR Management
  • Biostatistics II
  • Occupational Health I
  • Data Management
  • Occupational Health II
  • Health Care Finance
  • Manage Care
  • Readings in Public Health
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Program Evaluation
  • Health Promotion and Health Education
  • Occupational Toxicology
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Public Health Law, Policy, and Ethics
  • Thesis Research

MSPH 70001 EPIDEMIOLOGY I (Introductory)

This course is designed to explore principles of investigating the differential distribution of disease among population groups, provide exercises demonstrating epidemiologic techniques, and introduce students to the use of data to treat and prevent disease and evaluate health care effectiveness. 3 credits.

MSPH 70201 BIOSTATISTICS I (Introductory)

This is an introductory course in the basic statistical concepts, principles, and methods used in the health sciences. Taught as part of the core curriculum for all Master of Science in Public Health students, the broad goal of this component is to enable students to have knowledge of the basics and their application in the experimental and non-experimental phases of health care administration and medical disciplines. The student should understand the traditional role of biostatistics and its newer role in the computer age and the age of innovative health care delivery systems. 3 credits.

MSPH 70301 HEALTH PLANNING

This course provides an introduction to the planning processes used in various health care organizations. Includes such issues as allocation of resources and institutional change in the health care environment. 3 credits.

MSPH 70501 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

This course provides students a comprehensive understanding of strategic management in the health care environment. Strong emphasis is placed on the case study method. Health care organizations, like other organizations, are presented as ecological units relying on their environments (internal and external) as sources for attaining their various strategic objectives. As a result, students are exposed to the techniques for environmental analysis for the long-term direction of the organizations. 3 credits.

MSPH 70701 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

This course is designed to survey those factors that impact the environment and human health. The student will be provided a conceptual framework for the study, analysis, and control of various environmental problems. 3 credits.

MSPH 70801 HEALTH ECONOMICS

This course is designed to acquaint students, through lectures and discussion, with those principles and techniques of economic analysis that are helpful in developing and evaluating health programs. The course will concentrate on selected topics in economics, allocation of public goods, and economic dynamics. Case studies will be selected for their special relevance to the health field. 3 credits.

MSPH 71101 HEALTH CARE ACCOUNTING

An intermediate-level course that will expose students to the process of generating and analyzing financial information in health care settings. The course will cover financial, managerial, and cost accounting topics. The students will learn about the accounting tools and techniques used in health care organizations through the use of theory and practical examples. The course will also educate the students on the limitations of financial information generated through the traditional processes. 3 credits.

MSPH 71201 HEALTH CARE SEMINAR

This seminar is designed to provide students an opportunity to integrate previous course content into a framework relevant to health care. Seminar sessions, utilizing case materials, the graduate faculty, and occasional guest lectures, will focus on methods of health research, epidemiology, health economics, poverty and illness, research evaluation, communication skills, etc. 3 credits.

MSPH 71401 EPIDEMIOLGY II (Advanced)

This advanced course deals with epidemiology theory and methods in the actual study of disease etiology with particular emphasis upon case control study methods including matching, confounding, and selection techniques. Prerequisite: MSPH 70001. 3 credits.

MSPH 71501 ORGANIZATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive, current introduction to the human resources management function as it relates to the delivery of health care and related services. 3 credits.

MSPH 71601 BIOSTATISTICS II (Advanced)

This course deals with statistics required for the analysis of medical care data. It covers further techniques for the application of statistical theory to actual data, combing lectures with computational experience. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear and multiple expression, correlation, and distribution free methods. Prerequisites: MSPH 70001 and 70201. 3 credits.

BMSPH 71701 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH I (Introduction)

A general overview of occupational health and safety, including historical development, concepts, and a general introduction to recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards. The diagnosis, pathophysiology, management, and prevention of work connected illness and accidents are surveyed. 3 credits.

MSPH 71801 EXTERNSHIP/FIELD PLACEMENT

The application of skills gained in the class to actual health agency and community programs. Students will identify and solve real health problems in communities, operating agencies, local and state governments, etc. 6 credits.

MSPH 72001 DATA MANAGEMENT

An introduction to principles needed for processing large data files. Subject material will cover editing, encoding, structuring, and manipulating data, as well as timing considerations. Use will be made of the data processing/computing equipment at Meharry Medical College. 3 credits.

PH 72201 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH II (Introduction)

Workplace relationship of specific hazards such as solvents and metals is examined. Cancer is the main entity covered; its etiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control. History taking (standard and predictive for placement and surveillance), patch treating, treatment trials, and protective measures are reviewed. 3 credits.

MSPH 73001 HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

An introduction to the basic principles, concepts, and theories of management in the context of the health care delivery system. The course emphasizes the facts, problems, and issues of health care administration at all levels of the delivery system. 3 credits.

MSPH 73201 HEALTH FINANCE

Analytic techniques, capital budgeting, cost of capital, evaluation, leverage, aspects of financial planning, and control. 3 credits.

MSPH 73601 RESEARCH DESIGN

This course is designed as an overview of research design and methodology with specific attention to individual student needs as related to the completion of the thesis. 3 credits.

MSPH 73801 MANAGED CARE

This course is designed to create a basic understanding of the managed health care environment in the United States. The course will cover: the history, growth, and development of managed care; the various types of managed care organizations; contracting in the current health care delivery system; medical management; general management; marketing; finance; underwriting; and legal/regulatory issues. The commercial HMO/PPO market, the emerging public HMO market (Medicaid, Medicare, and CHAMPUS), and special market segments (such as worker’s compensation) also will be covered in the course. The objectives of the course include: preparing students to understand the basic structures, organization, and functions of managed care organizations; preparing students to function knowledgeably in a variety of managed care settings; preparing students to understand the relationship between managed care and various health care reform initiatives; and preparing students to negotiate effectively in managed care contracting scenarios. 3 credits.

MSPH 73901 READINGS IN PUBLIC HEALTH

An intensive reading course under the guidance of a division faculty member in an area of public health. The class meets weekly to discuss the selected readings; each student will be required to write a minimum of one research paper on the semester’s readings. This paper cannot be related to the student’s thesis. The objectives of this course are to provide students an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest in public health in detail that is not covered by the required division curriculum for the Master of Science in Public Health degree and to provide an opportunity for advanced graduate students to conduct individual readings in public health to broaden their areas of knowledge and potential research opportunities. 3 credits.

MSPH 74201 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

An advanced seminar on the health care organization in a competitive environment. Emphasis on concepts and practices of total quality management and new techniques and regulations in personnel management and group development. 3 credits.

MSPH 74501: PROGRAM EVALUATION

This course will introduce students to the basics of program evaluation from the public health perspective.  Elements of program evaluation will include such steps as engaging stakeholders, describing the program, focusing on the evaluation design, gathering credible evidence, justifying conclusions, and ensuring the use and sharing of lesson learned. 3 credits

MSPH 75301 OCCUPATIONAL TOXICOLOGY

Basic toxicological principles such as dose response, metabolic pathways, and factors influencing toxicity are studied. The response of specific organ systems to toxic agents and recognition of clinical manifestations of specific classes of toxicants are emphasized. 3 credits.

MSPH 75701 INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE

This course is a survey of the identification, evaluation, and control of those factors of the environment that may cause illness, lack of well being, or discomfort among workers or in the community. 3 credits.

MSPH 79001 HEALTH LAW AND ETHICS

A seminar designed to introduce the definitions, structures, and functions of the law and its effects on and its use in the American health care system. Fundamental legal principles relating to the delivery of health care services in this context are emphasized. Important topics include a primer on administrative law and the medical practice acts, health care practitioner and patient relationships, medical liabilities, hospital practices and the law, economic and social regulation of health care facilities, health antitrust law, and important ethics concepts in health care delivery. 3 credits.

MSPH 80001 THESIS RESEARCH

This course will familiarize students with the process of research. The thesis process will help students better understand the effects of that process on providing new knowledge to the field of research (utilizing research design, methodology, and literature research). 1-3 credits.

Curriculum & Course Requirements

First Year: Fall Semester

Name of Course:

Biostatics I

Epidemiology I

Research Design

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

3

3

Name of Course:

Biostatics I

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Epidemiology I

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Research Design

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

First Year: Spring Semester

Name of Course:

Environmental Health

Health Behavior

Elective

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

3

3

Name of Course:

Environmental Health

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Health Behavior

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

First Year: Summer Semester

Name of Course:

Externship

# of Credit Hours:

6

Name of Course:

Externship

# of Credit Hours:

6

Second Year: Fall Semester

Name of Course:

Health Administration

Elective

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

3

Name of Course:

Health Administration

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

Third Year: Spring Semester

Name of Course:

Elective

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Elective

# of Credit Hours:

3

Accreditation

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools/colleges and programs of public health in the United States. In 2009, CEPH voted to accredit the Master of Science in Health Public (MSPH) Program at Meharry Medical College for a five-year term, ending in 2014. The MSPH Program began its reaccreditation process in Fall 2012.

 

As part of the process, the MSPH Program was required to produce a self-study report to CEPH. The self-study report was review by the CEPH site visiting team.  On the subsequent team’s visit to Meharry Medical College, it met with a variety of stakeholders including faculty, students, staff, administrators, advisory committee, alumni and other members of the community. Thirty days after the site visit, the committee will provide the program with a draft report containing their findings.  CEPH has provided a draft of its report to the MSPH program to which the program has the option of responding.

 

A decision was made by the CEPH Board of Council on the Program’s reaccreditation in fall 2014. The Council voted to reaccredit the Master of Science in Health Public (MSPH) Program at Meharry Medical College for a seven-year term, ending in December 31, 2021.

 

Please take a moment to review our reaccreditation timeline:

 

November 2013: Completion of preliminary self-study and submission to review committee.

 

January 2014: Review committee informed MSPH of changes to preliminary self-study they feel are needed.

 

March 8th, 2014: Completion of self-study document with changes and updates and submission to review committee. (Please click here to view the self-study report).

 

April 8th-10th, 2014: Site visit by review committee.

 

May 27th, 2014: Draft report of the site visit received from CEPH. (Please click here to view the draft report).

 

August 5th, 2014: Deadline for the MSPH Program to respond to draft report.

 

September 18th-20th 2014: The full Council on Education in Public Health meets to discuss renewal of MSPH’s accreditation for seven years, the maximum period allowed (through 2021).

 

October 6th, 2014: The MSPH Program was reaccredited for a seven-year term, extending to December 31, 2021, with an interim report due in fall 2015.

Admissions

Learn a little more about applying to the program.

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